Random writing mostly related to the history and interpretation of the history of aviation. Sometimes extra to published articles, sometimes responses to other sources.
Friday, June 12, 2015
It's rare, but it does happen that one phone call, and you're out of the door and down to the airfield on a lovely winter afternoon. Because I'm slow, the Ryan was running, all warmed up and ready to go, and after a quick strap in by 'Hostie' Matt Henderson, we were off.
BIG thanks to Scotty Taberner for the much-anticipated Ryan flight, and it was a privilege to grab some shots on Bev's camera of our escort in beautiful lighting conditions and silky smooth air. And it wasn't even cold. Above is us backtracking on the runway with Cessna 170 'SLY' following us down.
Passengers ride in the front cockpit, so there's even more in the way of the pilot. The dials are, I'm reliably informed, useful and important. It's all dials to me.
Here's us in the Ryan with Matt in the Cessna O-1 Birddog (behind the strut) taken by Estelle Patterson from SLY, being flown by Mick Poole...
...and here's the view in reverse.
We stopped in at another airfield for fuel, and after that, I was invited to step back in to the Ryan. Always good to get the return trip too.
'How do you mess up a selfie?' Like this. It's arty, right?
We were chased up by Matt in the Birddog on the circuit out as we formed up for some photos that Scotty had suggested - as the light and conditions were excellent. I looked about for the photographer, but there wasn't one, so it was down to me with Bev's box-camera-ette I'd grabbed leaving the house, and a battery that died longer than an amateur-dramatic Hamlet. No pressure.
Luckily squinting at the screen at the back of the camera worked better than using a proper SLR viewfinder, and being shown every shot after I took it kept the action at a reasonable pace. 'What does this button do?'
If the pilots go in circles, and know what they're doing (don't try this without, kids) then you get down sun and up sun shots without having to work. Magic.
The observant will note we had been joined by another, Cessna 195 'Scatterbolts' being flown by Michael Dalton, who was hijacked on returning to his home airfield.
Top to bottom, 195, 170 and O-1.
... Round and around...
... 'Scatterbolts' with the wheels on Hanging Rock...
... and time to go home.
Approach to the home airfield (there's a runway behind the cylinder).
And a last shot (by Scotty) of your intrepid reporter to prove it all happened before putting the aircraft away.
James Kightly ('JDK') is a professional writer and journalist covering vintage aviation. For James' professional and contact details see James' home page. For James' aviation writing blog, see Vintage Aeroplane Writer. To contact James by e-mail see Contact!